Once you get the hang of it, carb cycling isn’t really that complicated, but rather a varied and flexible eating plan that can cause you to not pay attention to get its full value.
Here are some important tips to get the most out of your carb cycling regime.
MATCH HIGH ENERGY DAYS WITH HIGH CARB INTAKE DAYS
This is even more important if you’re into strenuous exercise, have regular workout days or if you’re an athlete. Your high carb days will ensure that you have higher energy levels when you need them the most.
EAT SLOWLY DIGESTIBLE CARBS
Because they supply your body with a steady flow of energy, slow-digesting carbs are your best bet. Slow-digesting cargs can be found in starchy products suck as potatoes, quinoa, brown rice and oatmeal. Fast-digesting carbs have an annoying habit of creating energy drops and spikes and can be found in most fruits that are higher in natural sugars.
Don’t avoid fast-digesting carbs completely as these are essential to a healthy diet, just remember to eat a majority of slower digesting carbs, and especially when you are on a low carb day.
ENSURE YOU MAINTAIN YOUR CALORIE DEFICIT
Maintaining a carb deficit promotes fat-burning and is essentially how carb cycling works. You will need to monitor your calorie intake closely to ensure that you stay within your specified limit. Don’t lose any sleep over a few extra calories here and there, but plan your weekly calories to avoid gaining weight over that period of time – don’t worry about tracking on a daily basis.
DON”T GO OVERBOARD ON A CHEAT DAY
Cheat day is exactly as is says; a day where you can pamper yourself with special treats, but be careful if you happen to have a sweet tooth. One sure fire way of undoing all the good you’ve done would be to over-indulge in sugary foods. As with anything, moderation is the key.
There are a small number of sugary foods that you should probably avoid while carb cycling. These include rich pies, fruit drinks, candy and soda. If your craving is eating you alive, practice moderation once again.
DON’T UP YOUR CARB INTAKE ON A LOW CARB DAY
Maybe you’ve had an unexpected change of plans and you need to reschedule your workout to a low carb day. There are 2 things you can do:
- If possible, reschedule your workout to a high carb day
- Continue with your workout on the low carb day. It’s highly likely that the high carb intake from the previous day will have stored enough to supply your body with the extra energy it needs. Worst case scenario? You may just end up a bit more tired than usual.
NEVER up your carb intake on low carb days. It will completely upset the whole cycling process and wreak havoc on your ongoing success.
MONITOR YOUR CARBS
Yes, most folks love carbs and carb cycling allows you to eat a lot of them. The novelty of this unique approach means that people tend to overindulge on high carb days thinking that this is fine. To avoid this, plan your snacks and meals ahead of time to include the recommended portions of carbs. Like in many other regimes, planning forms a huge part of your success or otherwise.
While carb cycling doesn’t really feel like a diet, it really is. Because it is so flexible, its difficult to remember that there are still some restrictions. Balance and moderation are the keys to success when embarking on a carb cycling journey.